If you watch the news, you know that nearly everyone is talking about the deadly virus. But soon Ebola will be making its way into millions of homes via a new TV series.
The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news that producer Lynda Obst and director-producer Ridley Scott are set to bring a film about the virus to the small screen. The series will be based on the 1994 Richard Preston nonfiction best-seller The Hot Zone and will be produced for Fox TV Studios.
The project has been on the back burner for years, but with the most recent Ebola outbreaks, suddenly everyone is thinking about the virus and it looks like this series is finally going to happen. We're wondering whether that might not be the best idea.
People are poised on the edge of panic when it comes to Ebola. Each individual case in the U.S. has caused people to become frightened that they can contract the virus anywhere, anytime. A TV series would only add to that fear factor, especially if the story enhances the truth and gives people the wrong idea about how Ebola is transmitted. We might see people taking their families and heading to the mountains with tents, thinking that would keep them safer.
Ebola isn't some made-up disease making an appearance in a movie purely to drive the plot. It exists right here, right now, and people really are getting sick from it. Wouldn't a TV series about something this serious hit just a little too close to home? Would people actually want to watch it, knowing that it's really happening to real people?
Even if you take away the realism, you're still left with a series based on a subject that's kind of been done and redone. There have been plenty of movies and TV series about the ravages of a deadly virus. Do we really need one more? All you really have to do is pull out a DVD of Outbreak or rewatch this summer's The Last Ship and you're all set.
Because we've seen these types of series before, we know how a lot of it will probably go down, and it won't be pretty. The symptoms of Ebola include vomiting and diarrhea, and really, who needs to watch that? Chances are, the special effects people on the series will make the virus look even worse than it is.
Maybe we've been watching too much of The Walking Dead, but it's hard to think of a highly contagious virus without wondering if it could lead to an all-out zombie apocalypse. Ebola may not turn people into deadly walkers who eat human flesh, but it's still frightening enough to make us think of the end of the world, and that's pretty much the same thing.
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